Last week, Volkan Oezdemir was pulled from his scheduled fight with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 next month. But while the UFC was looking for a short-notice replacement to step in against Gustafsson, “The Mauler” himself was ruled out of the event due to “a minor injury.” It was the latest setback for a man who has had trouble building any momentum in the past few years due to injuries.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani of ESPN on Monday, Gustafsson discussed his recent string of bad luck, saying that he has been frustrated by how everything has played out.
“All I can tell you is that I’ve been very frustrated, these couple of days,” Gustafsson said. “I feel like it doesn’t go my way, really. It’s just crazy. I don’t want to talk about my injury, it’s just a minor injury. It’s nothing to talk about really. It’s just a thing, and it gets on my nerves. But it is was it is. I’m here now, and I’ll do everything in my power to bounce back and I will in a couple of weeks.”
Gustafsson has not competed since May of 2017 due to injury. His last fight was a scintillating knockout of Glover Teixeira at UFC Stockholm that would have put him in line for a title shot had injuries not caused Volkan Oezdemir to jump him in line. This latest derailment is just another example of how “crazy” Gustafsson’s inability to get into the cage is.
“It’s been frustrating,” Gustafsson said. “I don’t know what’s going on. I feel like I don’t have any flow right now. It’s just f**king crazy, I’m telling you, I’m so frustrated because this was my card, this was my fight, then Volkan fell off. It was a fight that really motivated me, to fight Volkan. It’s the best fight for me and it makes the most sense. I felt great fighting him and everything but then he got injured, and you know, it is what it is. S**t happens. Whatever they put on the table, I’ll fight him. I’m in the best shape of my life, and then I got injured. I get injured from nowhere. It’s just crazy, that’s all I can say to you. It’s just crazy.”
Gustafsson’s latest injury came at an unfortunate time, as a seemingly perfect short-notice replacement announced himself on Sunday when Anthony Smith knocked out Mauricio Rua at UFC Hamburg and then called out Gustafsson in his post-fight interview. When he found out that Gustafsson was unable to accept his short-notice challenge, Smith called it “ironic” and questioned how all of a sudden Gustafsson was no longer able to compete when just a few days prior he was looking for a fight. But Gustafsson says he was injured before Smith even fought and that this was all just bad timing.
“It was before his fight,” Gustafsson said. “He hadn’t even fought when all this happened to me. What can I say? It was before Anthony Smith’s fight. I wouldn’t duck anyone. I’ll fight anyone. I’ll fight anyone but what can I do? It is what it is. I’m hurt.”
Gustafsson’s withdrawal didn’t just draw the ire of Smith though. UFC light heavyweight (and heavyweight) champion Daniel Cormier also took umbrage with the optics of Gustafsson’s removal from UFC 227, lambasting the top-ranked light heavyweight in an Instagram post and saying that the two would never fight again. This is a blow for Gustafsson who has been angling for a rematch since losing a split decision to Cormier at UFC 192. Now though, it seems like Gustafsson is more concerned with just getting back into the cage again than chasing down a title fight.
“No, I haven’t seen that,” said Gustafsson. “I haven’t read it. I heard about it and I don’t even want to read it. I’m so up in my own thing now and I’ve been so frustrated, I don’t want to read it. It is what it is. There’s nothing I can do and he can write whatever he wants to write. I just want to prove to everybody that I want to get in there and fight but it’s not my luck. I’m telling you, it’s f**king crazy.”
Results. Three contracts awarded at the Contender Series but Nick Newell came up short.
Wow. Tyron Woodley to defend belt against Darren Till, Colby Covington to be stripped.
Then stop. Kevin Lee on weight-cutting: ‘Everybody is kind of waiting for somebody to die.’
Cormier. Jimi Manuwa calls on UFC champ Daniel Cormier to ‘defend or vacate.’
155. Mirsad Bektic doesn’t think champ Max Holloway will remain at featherweight for long.
The Sound Off.
Ronda’s Shark Week segment.
LFA Highlights from last weekend.
DC-Jones III Promo.
DC confirms Brock is his last fight, not his next one.
Of course she would.
Oscar discussing Golden Boy MMA.
Fights Gone By. Discussing the fall of Shogun Rua.
Obviously Fight Talk. Discussing UFC Hamburg and previewing UFC Calgary.
Sounds like Kamaru thinks he’s getting Covington now.
Ooooh shit!!! I guess somebody’s gonna have to get this work now !!
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) July 25, 2018
The most polite call out of all time.
Yo @dc_mma ,
They said a win over me and Glover would earn a title shot..I beat em, media said you wanted Shogun and he lost, you told Gus off, and you already fought Volkan.. I’ll never “call you out” out of respect. But I’m 100% down to fight you. #UFC @ufc #letsdoit
— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) July 24, 2018
Ok , sure just find out when and where. I’ll be there. I always am!
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 24, 2018
WW fighters talking about being in the Bellator GP.
Overeem and Blaydes getting some work together just a few weeks after fighting.
Say it ain’t so, Fedor.
Thiago Santos (17-6) vs. Kevin Holland (12-3); UFC 227, Aug. 4.
Jeremy Kennedy (11-1) vs. Danyel Pilo (10-1-2); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Arnold Quero (15-6) vs. Felipe Efrain (12-3); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Abdoul Abdouraguimov (7-0) vs. Sidney Wheeler (8-2); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Velimurad Alkhasov (4-0, 1 NC) vs. Sean Santella (20-6-1); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Ikram Aliskerov (5-0) vs. Diego Gonzalez (20-12, 1 NC) ; Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Artur Guseinov (21-7) vs. Tarek Suleiman (6-5); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Jeremy Pacatiw (6-3) vs. Keith Lee (3-2); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Djamil Chan (14-4) vs. Alejandro Martinez (3-1); Brave CF, Aug. 18.
Tyron Woodley (18-3-1) vs. Darren Till (17-0-1); UFC 228, Sep. 8.
Carla Esparza (14-5) vs. Tatiana Suarez (7-0); UFC 228, Sep. 8.
Aljamain Sterling (14-3) vs. Cody Stamann (17-1); UFC 228, Sep. 8.
Jim Miller (28-11, 1 NC) vs. Alex White (12-3); UFC 228, Sep. 8.
2014: Scott Coker helmed his first event as President of Bellator MMA, Bellator 122, which featured Andre Koreshkov winning the welterweight tournament final with a unanimous decision over Adam McDonough.
2015: T.J. Dillashaw knocked out Renan Barao to successfully defend his bantamweight title in their rematch at UFC on FOX 16.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Should the UFC sign Nick Newell anyway?
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